Roasted Pork Loin with Fennel
Serve this peppery pork roast with a side dish of buttered orzo with peas!
- 3 fennel bulbs-trimmed, quartered, and cored, feathery fronds reserved
- 3 medium garlic cloves
- 2 tablespoons fennel seeds
- 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
- 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
- 4 teaspoons olive oil
- 2½ pounds center-cut boneless pork loin
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- Freshly ground black pepper
- ⅔ cup dry white wine
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. In a large saucepan of boiling salted water, cook the quartered fennel bulbs until just tender, about 10 minutes. Drain.
- Meanwhile, using a mortar and pestle, crush the garlic, fennel seeds, peppercorns, lemon zest, and ½ teaspoon of salt to a coarse paste. Stir in 2 teaspoons of the oil. Rub the mixture all over the pork loin.
- Set the pork in a medium non reactive roasting pan with the fennel quarters. Season the fennel with the lemon juice, the remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil, salt, and black pepper. Roast in the oven for 15 minutes. Lower the temperature to 325°F and roast for about 45 minutes longer, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center of the pork loin reads 140°. Transfer the pork to a carving board, cover loosely with foil, and let stand for about 10 minutes before slicing.
- Discard any fat from the pan. Set the pan over 2 burners, add the wine, and bring to a boil over moderately high heat, scraping up any browned bits. Boil until the wine is reduced by half, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
- Slice the roasted pork loin and arrange the slices and the fennel on a platter. Garnish with the fronds. Pour accumulated meat juices into the pan gravy and pass separately.